Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant Program

Overview: The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a federal grant program administered by the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS). The Fund consists of two parts or sides: the federal and the state side. The latter is for projects sponsored by local, regional, and state entities. The state-side LWCF program provides up to 50% matching funds to create public outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.

Alaska: More than $36 million in LWCF grants has been invested in over 330 projects in Alaska since inception of the program in 1965. Locally sponsored projects include a skate park in Sitka, ball field in Barrow, rifle range in Kodiak, community garden in Bethel, tot lot in Kotzebue, ski area in Cordova, and a swim beach in Fairbanks. LWCF investment in State-sponsored sites include Chugach State Park, Clam Gulch State Recreation Area (SRA), Nancy Lake SRA, and Chena River SRA.

Eligible Applicants: State, regional or local governments with the legal authority to provide park and recreation services on public land are eligible to apply for LWCF assistance.

Reimbursable & Matching: A grantee/sponsor does not receive a cash grant at the time of project approval. Instead, a grantee pays project costs and is reimbursed up to 50% of the documented eligible expenses. The grantee may request quarterly reimbursements. Match may come from sources such as local appropriations or bonds, in-kind use of equipment, materials and labor, or donations and volunteer time.

Funding Priorities: (from the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan: 2009-2014, extended through December 2016)

    High State Priorities

  • Rehab, upgrade or expand existing high-demand facilities or trails
  • Meet ADA accessibility requirements, or complete ADA inventory of rec facilities and trails

 High Community Priorities (Local or Regional Sponsors)

  • Community Parks/Playgrounds
  • Trails/trailheads
  • Rehab, upgrade or expand existing facilities

LWCF Grant Round:
Anticipated to open in July 2016 for at least 90 days - dates to be announced
Anticipated Floor: $25,000 (project at least $50,000)
Anticipated Ceiling: $125,000 (project at least $250,000)

Alaska's Outdoor Legacy, Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), 2009- 2014 (Extended through December 2016)
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) 

SCORP Summary - 2009-2014 (Extended through December 2016)
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) Draft 2016-2021 is now online for review and public comments. To review the draft plan, click and then follow the link to the comments page.

For more information, contact the LWCF Grants Administrator at or 907-269-8694.